Style Icons: Female,Style Icons: Male »Best of Paris Fashion Week

A Gothic blackness hung over the Paris shows and who better to represent the trend than the Belgian mistress of the dark, Ann Demeulemeester, who turned out signature awesomeness like this layered corset closure skirt. (She also went into some dubious territory with the Yeti trend but we’ll discuss that later).

Yamamoto created one of my favorite vampy looks from Paris with this gravity defying lace skirt that feels both light and dark at the same time…

A look created in a more wearable, though nipple bearing fashion at Collette Dinnigan.

But it was Nicolas Andreas Taralis who took the Gothic theme to the most extreme with his literally blood splattered collection that crazily managed to combine puffy shirts and true beauty. Looking like a Victorian Vampire suddenly seems like a pretty good idea…

Though if you’d rather evoke the slick Vampirism of Catherine Deneuve a la The Hunger, this long cape and body suit from YSL is perfect.

I really liked the eye popping gold and black at Gareth Pugh, but had to share this gorgeous wrap dress that is both flatteringly wearable and unique. I think hoods will pop up in unfamiliar, more formal places. I for one, will have an eye out for a hooded dress, though one with leather arms will probably be a tougher find.

Continuing the black trend – the motorcycle jacket – which can be worn two ways to look completely new and wonderful. I’d opt for the great proportions at Limi Feu of tiny jacket and flowing long skirt.

But Junya Watanabe’s opposite proportions – over sized boyfriend jacket with short school girl skirt is great too. This girl would garner stares of awe at her coolness walking down the street.

One of the most unexpected and memorable shows was Givenchy, which in addition to the incredible couture line surely rocketed designer Riccardo Tisci to the job of taking over at Dior. I want, nay, need a riding cap with cat ears. Need it! While it will be sad to see him leave the house (who will be his replacement?) I am sure he’ll bring his innovation to Dior, which while always lovely was feeling a bit repetitive anyways, no?

The animal graphic didn’t end with panthers at Givenchy though, surprisingly they made an appearance at the less trendy Ungaro. As a lover of birds of prey, I am fawning over this eagle stop, which here looks good with patent leather pants, but in reality shiny jeggings aren’t the best thing to become trendy on most of our less than twig-like bodies.

Chanel embodied the very prevalent anti-pretty, anti-sexy mood of the moment -which seems to say to women – “You best be skinny and gorgeous already because we’re not going to help you out too much on that front”. I mean, quilted moon suits? BUT, this look is one of my favorites even if the show was not. I could walk out wearing this exactly and feel like my best self. Skinny jeans don’t belong everywhere, but under a roomy short dress, they are perfect.

And speaking of roomy, this slouchy suit by Paul and Joe was awesome. “Slouchy” and “suit” usually equal “dowdy” but this manages to look different and hip.

And on to that Yeti trend I spoke up. Never have I seen so much monkey fur and woolly mammoth models, but this Giambattista Valli look was one of the few that looked more fashionable that big foot. Even if it may seem absurd to most to wear something like this – I love the styling from the bold necklace to the bright cinched waist and wouldn’t mind stepping out on the town in this.

In a smaller way, the trend looked clean and cool at Neil Barrett. The fur mini skirts were fab but this well tailored jacket is impeccable.

Another trend was the world traveling woman – Rick Owens and AF. Vandervorst both embraced the look. But at Sacai the trend was stunning. Refreshing shades of pale beiges, winter whites and clean greys made one want to travel Scandinavia in style. (Just try to not get distracted by the front row frowns and scowls).

But the trend was perhaps best displayed at Hermes, where each layered look called to mind the kind of women Indiana Jones would meet on his adventures. The capes were long, the boots high and once again the hood is sophisticated.

Sophistication also reigned at Lanvin. I swear if I could walk out the door looking this simply stylish my happiness would know no bounds.

The 40’s were mined, then turned on their head at Louis Vuitton. The result was tons of fun. I especially love this slightly naughty little girl look with it’s peter pan collar and puff sleeves. The gloves and lace up pumps complete the look.

Miu Miu too seemed to be in a 40’s kind of mood. Big shoulder pads, narrow waists and feminine prints walked her runway. But as usual, she added a modern, almost techy twist. This time with utility details and glittery leather pumps that are some of the best of the season.

Roland Mouret wins the award for the most simple dress that could make one feel like 1970’s era Isabelle Huppert with this red number. Not only is it effortlessly pretty, it is a red that is neither too bright nor too far on the drab burgundy side of things. A color problem hard to solve in lipstick too.

Prints were another story and while everyone from Elie Saab to Chacharel boasted some lovely ones, none were as interesting as the patchwork combos in this Dries Van Noten dress. Bonus for the pairing with python shoes (a use of python I found much more pleasing than all of the Chloe collection).

Vivienne Westwood’s main line was much more to my taste than her Red Label and this wild maxi skirt and Mayan inspired top was undeniably awesome.

Tartan made itself seem at Rykiel and Gaultier but it was freshest in the structured off kilter school girl looks at Carven.

Balmain was more business as usual, but business is good when it means a sexy, attention grabbing mini dress like this. It was especially welcome in the sea of less body conscious stuff.

More good stuff after the jump…

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Posted on March 13, 2011

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